If the subject of a post has a question mark in it, that probably means it’s just another daily dose of trade speculation. This includes a Portland mention in this Caron Butler column from David “I’m not as soft as LaMarus” Aldridge over at NBA.com:
(Don’t discount Portland, either. While much has been made of the Blazers’ pursuit of Washington center Brendan Haywood, the Blazers have just as much, if not more, interest in Butler, and are willing to put $3 milliion in cash toward a deal — which certainly interests the Wizards. But Portland’s refusal to put any of its young players other than Martell Webster in any potential deal puts it on the outside looking in. As has been reported, the Wizards want either Nicholas Batum — no chance — or Rudy Fernandez — not likely, as he is a favorite of many inside the Blazers’ braintrust. The Lakers would also love to repatriate Butler with Kobe Bryant, who would love to have him. But L.A. doesn’t have the expiring contract/young player assets necessary to get seriously involved.)
Interesting. I suspect I might be alone in liking Butler’s game more than most Blazer fans probably do, but is he worth the young talent? Since the Jermaine O’Neal trade, Portland has been very reluctant to trade any young players, for fear that their shift from potential to talent will eventually come back to hurt the franchise. But it’s clear that something needs to get done this Portland team (currently in 4th place in the Northwest Division) to keep their head above the playoff waters.
Should the Blazers keep browsing? (Since last time I checked Butler doesn’t play center and won’t solve that problem.) Or should they make a move? Who would you swap for Butler?